New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortion After Rape/Incest
Under a proposed law in the New Mexico state House of Representative, a woman who has an abortion after being raped could face felony criminal charges.
New Mexico House Bill 206, proposed by state Representative Cathrynn Brown (R-Carlsbad), would classify terminating a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest as tampering with evidence. The text of the proposed bill [PDF] reads "Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime." This could mean that rape or incest victims who seek to terminate a pregnancy resulting from rape could face felony charges and up to three years in prison.
Representative Brown insists that the bill was designed to protect women from being forced to have an abortion by their attacker. She told the Albuquerque Journal "I thought I had a pretty good little bill that was going to accomplish a lot of good, and it's being misconstrued." She claims in the Carlsbad Current-Argus, the local newspaper for her district, that the bill was poorly drafted by a member of her staff and when reviewing it she didn't catch the possible interpretation that she is facing criticism for now. "I missed this one," she said.
Javier Gonzalez, the Chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, told the Albuquerque Journal "This bill is wrong and should never see the light of day in any legislature in this country, let alone New Mexico. ... The war on women in America has to stop. No woman should ever be forced to carry a child for 'evidence,' plain and simple."
Representative Brown plans on introducing new legislation that will clarify that the attacker would be punished under the law, not the victim, however she has yet to respond further to the media.
Media Resources: Albuquerque News 1/25/2013; Business Insider 1/25/2013; Carlsbad Current-Argus 1/24/2013; USA Today 1/24/2013; New Mexico House Bill 206
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .